Why Nigeria Cannot Employ Trained Seafarers-Jamoh
….Says 11 Banks Will Disburse CVFF
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh on Thursday explained that lack of ownership of ships in Nigeria have meant that over 800 out of the 2041 seafarers trained under the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) have had to secure jobs onboard foreign owned ships. This is even as he said that 11 banks have been shortlisted to disburse the $350 million Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) after the inauguration next week of the special committee set up for the purpose.
The CVFF is an intervention fund specifically created to help develop indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria.
The DG NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh disclosed this during the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
He said the money to be disbursed was sourced from 2 per cent contribution by indigenous ship owners from every contract executed in the nation’s waters.
The NIMASA DG explained that the disbursement of the CVFF is backed by the provisions of Section 42(1)-(2) of the Cabotage Act 2003, enacted to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators in domestic coastal shipping.
Jamoh said the disbursement of the funds will not only enhance the local shipping business but also assist in creating jobs for the over 2041 Nigerian Seafarers trained by the Agency under the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
He disclosed that NIMASA has trained about 2041 Seafarers in various institutions overseas, and of these number, over 800 have secured jobs with shipping companies abroad.
He regretted that those trained cannot be employed in Nigeria because of the absence of ships and the non-disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund which he said has made it difficult for indigenous players to enter into the shipping business meant to absorb the NSDP cadets.
Jamon stated: “We are unable to retain them here due to the absence of fleets to provide jobs for them in Nigeria after their training overseas.
“One vessel can employ up to 40 of them. The shipping business is capital-intensive. Thus government need to give helping hands to potential ship owners. We need them to feed into our own system if the fleets are available.”
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